I had a truly unique opportunity recently to experience a cadaver lab exploring the brachial plexus, the last four spinal nerves from the cervical spine at C5 through C8 and T1 in the thoracic spine that serve the upper extremity and upper back. First let me say I have the utmost respect and gratitude for the Colorado Learning Center of Anatomy and the AMTA for hosting an event that lets bodyworkers have such an in-depth and incredible hands on tool that ultimately will serve us to help our clients. I also have such gratitude for the cadavers and their families for their donation that lets us delve deeper into the beauty and complexity that is the human body and how we might become better at our craft and pass that on to others.
I have worked with clients that are experiencing symptoms from the brachial plexus which can manifest as pain, numbness and tingling, and muscle weakness. During our sessions we work their neck, pecs, shoulders and arms down through their fingers in an effort to alleviate those symptoms. Depending on where the pain, weakness, tingling and/or numbness is happening there are diagnostic tools to find out what work might serve our client best based on which nerve seems to be compressed or impinged. This can happen from injury but it can also happen from repetitive stress or motions in our daily lives that can cause our nerves to be compressed. I learned a wonderful term called "electro-excitability" which essentially is why after a massage you feel lighter and as if movement was easier. By lifting the muscles and giving the nerves more room they can conduct faster and more efficiently making it truly easier to move. So in our massage we can work from the neck all the way down those branches to the fingers to give your nerves more space to properly conduct and help you feel lighter and pain free.
Even without specific pain or numbness, it is important to make sure the muscles around the brachial plexus are giving these nerves enough room so your neck, shoulders, arms and hands can operate at their peak. Even just working these areas to release tension has a positive effect from the fascia to muscles and then to the nerves.
I am so lucky to have a career in a field that I find fascinating as well as fulfilling and this experience reaffirmed my gratitude to be able to do this work as well as my awe and respect for the human form. I look forward to continuing my education throughout my years as a massage therapist and then being able to provide my clients with a more informed and rewarding session.
Call me for your appointment today! 303 517 1449
Have a beautiful day,